Who Killed Freddie Grey?
By: Janet Morrison-Lane, Ed.D.
One more blow was dealt to everybody who believes that #blacklivesmatter: Police officers had been cleared and all fees have been dropped around their actions within the loss of life of Freddie Gray.
That we proceed to exonerate people who find themselves killing others makes my head spin.
Nonetheless, the reality is, we must always all (and by “all” I imply all white people) be held accountable for the police shootings which have occurred.
We. Are. Guilty. How?
We’re responsible of watching mainstream Tv that stars mainly white characters and by no means questioning why the only reveals about people of coloration show stereotypical roles.
We’re responsible of shaking our heads when the nightly news presents a disproportionate quantity of black men as criminals yet presents the alternative disproportionate quantity of white people as heroes.
We’re responsible of studying our history books and by no means questioning the illustration of slaves as “workers.”
We are responsible of being stunned and telling black people how “articulate” they’re as an alternative of assuming it from the beginning.
We are responsible of our heart rates going up science teacher t shirts when we see a gaggle of black teenagers and not challenging a system that leads us to imagine that black people are scary.
We are responsible of clutching our purse simply a bit bit tighter as we stand in an elevator with a black person with out even realizing the message we’re sending or why now we have been conditioned to think black people will steal from us.
We’re responsible of perpetuating a system that is more apt to offer a white male with a criminal record a job before we provide a black male with no criminal report a job.
We are guilty of constructing freeways over and around certain neighborhoods to keep away from them as an alternative of helping them create the economic growth they should be neighborhoods accessible to and for all individuals.
We’re responsible of intentionally selecting to reside in neighborhoods where everyone or nearly everybody looks like us and rationalizing the heightened police presence when a black particular person moves in.
We are responsible of telling poor, primarily black, school districts that schooling isn’t about money and refusing to accept raised taxes to help that district, then being keen to pay out of pocket to ship our own children to a school that has smaller class sizes with many extra opportunities to make sure our personal youngsters obtain an training only cash should buy.
We are guilty of believing that a black teen who wears a hoodie and “looks suspicious” is justifiably killed, however a white school student who sexually assaults an unconscious lady is justifiably set free.
We are guilty of believing that white men are extra useful and paying them accordingly whereas paying black men and women 75 cents and sixty four cents (respectively) to each dollar a white man makes.
These incidents are what form our view each single day. We see them on television. We witness them by means of information studies. We discuss them in coded language with our associates. Our racism is so pervasive that it’s embedded deep in our unconsciousness. It does not and will not go away voluntarily. We’ve what’s known as implicit bias. And yes, it is a nice term for racism.
Like it or not, we’re all racist. Don’t fool yourself. It is ingrained in our system. However, being racist is just not the true problem. Ignoring and pretending that we aren’t, is.
Racism is sort of a individuals mover conveyor belt on the airport. We’re all born and positioned on the conveyor belt. We may not select to stroll ahead and take part in racist actions, however simply by standing we move along and are complicit in the racism that exists. The one method we can change things is by actively turning around and walking… possibly even operating… towards the moving conveyor. To do so, our policing system must change the way they have a look at and deal with communities of color.
However… the onus just isn’t only on the police.
To ensure that change to occur, it’s on each of us to also look on the practices in our personal companies and in our personal neighborhoods. We should challenge hiring practices and neighborhood watch groups to be extra aware of who they are keeping out and why. We must look at pay scales and notice that our personal companies are creating disparities. And sure, we will do that. Our white privilege has put us within the roles of energy that management these systems.
Police shootings are atrocious and should be stopped. However, the larger concern to us ought to be the implicit biases that exist in our corporations, media, and neighborhoods which are leading to shootings of unarmed black men. Till we acknowledge and resolve to do something about those biases, the shootings will proceed.
We can keep denying that we’ve white privilege or begin to investigate our personal complicity. We have the ability to make systemic modifications. Now, what are we going to do about it?
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